The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Sonal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
Following suit of Gujarat, Nagaland, parts of Manipur and Kerala (banning alcohol in phases since 2014), Bihar banned alcohol sale on 5 April 2016. Country-made alcohol will be totally prohibited in the first phase while the Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) will be banned six months after in the second phase. Currently there are nearly 6,000 liquor retail shops in the state. The Bihar government now plans to sell foreign liquor through government outlets. For this, the Excise department has initiated the process to acquire land for setting up outlets and the storage for sale of liquor. Earlier, the Bihar State Beverage Corporation Limited (BSBCL) was responsible for the wholesale trade of IMFL earning a maximum of 2% profit on sale price but now with retail shops it will earn 15% more on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). According to Mr.Mastan , the state Excise and Prohibition minister, Country, spice and locally brewed liquor will be banned in the first phase while IMFL(foreign made liquor) will be banned after six months in second phase. He added that the new prohibition policy will not place a complete ban on sale of liquor. The state excise department says that there will now be only 656 government owned IMFL retail shops of liquor in the state with maximum 10 in large towns like Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gaya while 4 in smaller towns like Madhubani, Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. Currently there are nearly 6,000 liquor retail shops in the state. These decions have drawn anger from people who are involved in the liquor sale industry amounting to around 4000 crores. As if this was not enough, the sale of toddy has been dragged into ban as well. Turning this into a political spectacle, the opposition has claimed that many people belonging to the Pasi community have been arrested for selling toddy hence targeting these people belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) category for political reasons. Only time will show if this policy bodes well for Bihar or stays behind as a still another political propaganda.